Two Doses Of Jab Has "Quite Dramatic" Effect Against Covid-19, Latest Data Shows
The latest coronavirus data is "proving encouraging" and shows the "high effectiveness" of the vaccines, Professor Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London has said in a boost to hopes of the 19 July easing of restrictions going ahead.
Ferguson told BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Wednesday morning that two doses of the vaccines was having a "quite dramatic effect" in protecting people from the virus.
“It’s clear now that having two doses of either the AstraZeneca or Pfizer [or] Moderna vaccine gives a high level of protection, particularly against severe disease," he said.
"People do still get infected, but at a much lower level – you probably get 80/90% protection against infection alone."
Ferguson added that even the very small percentage of people who do get infected by Covid-19 after receiving two doses of the vaccine were now thought to be 50% less infectious.
He said that while hospitalisations and deaths were increasing nationwide amid the continued spread of the Delta variant, they were "at a much lower level compared with cases than they were previously".
This was "demonstrating the high effectiveness of the vaccines in protecting people, particularly against severe illness," Ferguson said.
Ferguson no longer advises government directly, and as such said it was not his job to analyse the data in order to "speculate" whether government would further ease restrictions on 19 July, or indeed bring the date forward to 5 July, as has been suggested. The Professor's remarks come as optimism appears to be growing within government that it will be able to do away with most social distancing measures next month due to the impact of the vaccine rollout.
The Times says while ministers do not plan to bring forward the so-called "freedom day," they are increasingly confident they will be able to get rid of mandatory face coverings and the one-metre plus rule on 19 July, as well as all other social restrictions.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday that the chances of going ahead with the July 19 unlocking were "looking good".
Professor Ferguson in his interview this morning warned, however, that seasonal influenza — the flu — is set to be a "significant issue" later this year.
“We do need to be prepared for potentially quite a significant flu epidemic — probably late this year, early next year," he told Today, explaining that "basically nobody" has caught the flu during the coronavirus pandemic meaning resistence to it has diminished.
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